Aug. 11th, 2010

wheelieterp: Head shot of me: black and white. Shaved head. Black, full goatee. Big toothy smile. (Default)
It's 2:45 am, and I can't sleep. So, I do what I normally do at these times: I muse... This morning, I've been pondering something that someone asked me a while ago. They asked me why I always complain about people asking me THE question. You know the one: "So--(This pause here always gets me... It's meant to communicate an awkwardness... as if to say 'I know I shouldn't ask this.. but...' It's gets me because it's such a lie... Anyone who has already opened their mouth to ask this has already lost the war between their curiosity/sense of entitlement and common decency. ) So... What put you in the wheel chair?" This person (I can't for the life of me remember who it was who asked me) this person wanted to know why I objected to that, and yet seemed so willing to share about it when telling my story.

I gave the predictable answer about owning my story and deciding when and where and blah blah blah, but even then, I knew this was not the complete answer; that there was something I couldn't yet articulate, even in my own head. So I told this person that my answer was incomplete and that when I had a more complete answer, I would let them know.

Well... Here we are, the clich├ęd sitting bolt-upright in bed at three A.M..... It came to me.

So, whoever you are who asked me this, I hope you read this blog, 'cause I can't remember who you are! Here is the rest of my answer:

When I talk about my medical condition while telling my story, it's acceptable and comfortable because it is my medical condition within the context of my life. It's as it should be: just a part of the story. When you ask me: "What put you in a wheelchair?" you are asking me to artificially remove and highlight this singular thing from the greater context of my life, and it feels like an invasion.

Doctors and clinicians ask about my condition without regard to the context. They're supposed to, and frankly, it's one of the reasons I don't like them--even though I see the unfairness in disliking them for performing a requisite evil of their duties...I want, however, to like other people so I usually grin and bear it when they ask, but I gotta be honest... If you ask me THE quesiton, I like you a little, teeny, tiny bit less.

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wheelieterp: Head shot of me: black and white. Shaved head. Black, full goatee. Big toothy smile. (Default)
WheelieTerp

February 2011

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